The California Chamber of Commerce this week released a preliminary list of “job killer” bills to call attention to the negative impact that 16 proposed measures would have on California’s job climate and economic recovery if they were to become law.
The list is preliminary at this point because CalChamber expects to add more bills to the list in the coming weeks as legislation is amended. CalChamber will periodically release “job killer” watch updates as legislation changes.
Readers are encouraged to track the current status of the “job killer” bills on www.cajobkillers.com or by following @CAJobKillers on Twitter.
“Although we will be opposing a number of bills throughout this year, the ‘job killer’ list represents the worst of the worst,” said Allan Zaremberg, CalChamber president and CEO. “These proposals will unnecessarily increase costs on California employers that will likely lead to a loss of jobs.”
The preliminary list of 2015 “job killer” bills follows:
Increased Labor Costs
• AB 357 (Chiu; D-San Francisco) Predictable Scheduling Mandate/Protected Leave of Absence — Imposes an unfair, one-size fits all, two-week notice scheduling mandate on certain employers that perform retail sales activity, and penalizes these employers with “additional pay” for making changes to the schedule with less than two weeks notice, and additionally imposes an unlimited, protected leave of absence from work as well as a broad new protected class of employees who are receiving public assistance or have an identified family member receiving such assistance.
• SB 3 (Leno; D-San Francisco/ Leyva; D-Chino) Automatic Minimum Wage Increase — Unfairly increases employers costs while ignoring the economic factors or other costs of employers by increasing the minimum wage by $3.00 over the next two and a half years with automatic increases tied to inflation.
• SB 406 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Significant Expansion of California Family Rights Act — Creates less conformity with federal law by dramatically reducing the employee threshold from 50 to less than 5 employees and expanding the family members for whom leave may be taken, which will provide a California-only, separate 12-week protected leave of absence on both small and large employers to administer, thereby increasing costs and risk of litigation.
Increased Fuel Costs
• SB 350 (de León; D-Los Angeles) Costly and Burdensome Regulations — Potentially increases costs and burdens on all Californians by mandating an arbitrary and unrealistic reduction of petroleum use by 50%, increasing the current Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50% and increasing energy efficiency in buildings by 50%—all by 2030 without regard to the impact on individuals, jobs and the economy.
• ACA 4 (Frazier; D-Oakley) Lowers Vote Requirement for Tax Increases — Adds complexity and uncertainty to the current tax structure and pressure to increase taxes on commercial, industrial and residential property owners by giving local governments new authority to enact special taxes, including parcel taxes, by lowering the vote threshold from two-thirds to 55%.
• SB 684 (Hancock; D-Berkeley) Increased Tax Rate — Threatens to significantly increase the corporate tax rate on publicly held corporations and financial institutions up to 15% according to the wages paid to employees in the United States, and threatens to increase that rate by 50% thereafter, if the corporation or institution reduces its workforce in the United States and simultaneously increases its contractors.
• SCA 5 (Hancock; D-Berkeley) Lowers Vote Requirement for Tax Increases — Adds complexity and uncertainty to the current tax structure and pressure to increase taxes on commercial, industrial and residential property owners by giving local governments new authority to enact special taxes, including parcel taxes, by lowering the vote threshold from two-thirds to 55%.
Increased Burdensome Environmental Regulation
• AB 356 (Williams; D-Santa Barbara) Limits In-State Energy Development — Jeopardizes high-paying middle class jobs in resource extraction fields by severely restricting wastewater injection sites and requiring unnecessary monitoring of those sites.
• AB 1490 (Rendon; D-Lakewood) Limits In-State Energy Development — Drives up fuel prices and energy prices by imposing a de facto moratorium on well stimulation activities by halting the activity after an earthquake of a magnitude 2.0 or higher.
• SB 32 (Pavley; D-Agoura Hills) Halts Economic Growth — Increases costs for California businesses, makes them less competitive and discourages economic growth by adopting further greenhouse gas emission reductions for 2030 and 2050 without regard to the impact on individuals, jobs and the economy.
Increased Health Care Costs
• SB 546 (Leno; D-San Francisco) Health Care Rate Regulation — Threatens employers with higher premiums and interferes with their ability to negotiate with health plans by imposing unnecessary and burdensome new reporting requirements on health plans and insurers in the large group market, and giving the Department of Managed Health Care and the Department of Insurance authority to modify or deny all rate changes in the large group market.
Economic Development Barriers
• AB 359 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego) Costly Employee Retention Mandate — Inappropriately alters the employment relationship and increases frivolous litigation by allowing a private right of action and by requiring any successor grocery employer to retain employees of the former grocery employer for 90 days and continue to offer continued employment unless the employees’ performance during the 90-day period was unsatisfactory.
• SB 576 (Leno; D-San Francisco) Stifles Mobile Application Technology Development — Stifles innovation and growth in the mobile application economy and creates unnecessary and costly litigation by mandating unnecessary, redundant and impractical requirements that will leave many current and future mobile applications unusable, with no benefit to the consumer.
Increased Unnecesary Litigation Costs
• AB 244 (Eggman; D-Stockton) Private Right of Action Exposure — Jeopardizes access to credit for home mortgages, increasing the challenge to attract business to California because of high housing prices, by extending the homeowner’s bill of rights to others, thereby opening the door to more private rights of action.
• AB 465 (Hernández; D-West Covina) Increased Litigation — Significantly drives up litigation costs for all California employers as well as increases pressure on the already-overburdened judicial system by precluding mandatory employment arbitration agreements, which is likely pre-empted by the Federal Arbitration Act.
• SB 203 (Monning; D-Carmel) Lawsuit Exposure — Exposes beverage manufacturers and food retailers to lawsuits, fines and penalties based on state-only labeling requirements for sugar-sweetened drinks.